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Difference Between CCU and ICU

hospital-icd-pdCCU vs ICU

Everyone knows of the various departments in hospitals, but many are unfamiliar with the nuances of these specialties, such as the CCU and ICU facilities. This article identifies the definitions of these units, the patients who are their primary focus, and the equipment they use.

Definitions

ICU stands for Intensive Care Unit, and is typically for those patients who are critically ill. It contains staff who are specifically trained for the various types of critical care needed by the patients.

CCU stands for Coronary Care Unit, Cardiac Care Unit, or Critical Care Unit, depending on the hospital; however, most consider the CCU to be the unit in which patients with a variety of heart illnesses are treated. Patients in the CCU are generally there because of arrhythmias, heart failure, chest pains, or open-heart surgery recovery.

Primary Focus

The staff of the ICU has a primary focus on caring for patients with failures of major systems in the body, which could be respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, or other autonomic body systems. Typically, these patients require constant care, which could be in the form of medication monitoring or breathing treatments; and who require treatment in a close-by area, where rapid decisions can be made, and appropriate treatment administered quickly. Many patients in the ICU are there following surgery, when there is an immediate risk of complications, or if the surgery was particularly traumatic.

When a patient is admitted with a heart attack, or they have had cardiac surgery, generally the patient is admitted to the CCU, or Cardiac Care Unit. This unit has highly specialized staff specifically trained in monitoring and caring for patients with various types of heart conditions. Typically, these patients also require very specialized care, but the center of attention is primarily the heart, or cardiac, related.

Equipment

For family members of a patient in the ICU, just seeing the equipment in the room can be frightening. Generally, heart monitors, blood pressure, and pulse monitors are always present; however, there can also be respirators or ventilators, and multiple fluids draining both into the patient and out of the patient, and other equipment to monitor various functions. No matter what the specific malady of the patient is, the equipment used to check them is there to help the staff know the immediate condition of the patient.

Like the ICU, patients in the CCU are hooked up to wires and tubes, and an assortment of machines that are intimidating to the families. All CCU patients are connected to heart monitors, and some, because of difficulty in breathing, may be attached to respirators or ventilators. Electrocardiograms, or EKGs, are typically present, and used to measure the electrical activity of the heart. Like the patients in the ICU, blood work is also drawn on a routine basis every few hours, depending on the patient.

Summary:

1. Two of the most vital departments for patient care in a hospital are the ICU, for critically ill patients, and the CCU, for heart patients.

2. The staff of the ICU has a primary focus on caring for patients with failures of major systems in the body, but when a patient is admitted with a heart attack, or they have had cardiac surgery, generally the patient is admitted to the CCU.


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